After years of skepticism and open hostility, JPMorgan is reportedly considering offering access to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s Bitcoin trading options through the exchanges futures-brokerages department, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal.
Jamie Dimon’s open disdain for Bitcoin has made him sort of infamous as a Scrooge in the world of crypto. In the past, Dimon called Bitcoin a fraud, and insulted the intelligence of anyone who chose to invest in it. At a conference last month, Dimon publicly announced that “if you’re stupid enough to buy [Bitcoin], you’ll pay the price for it one day.”
Despite Dimon’s harsh criticism of Bitcoin, he does not totally decry the blockchain technology that it is based on. According to CNBC, JP Morgan has been experimenting with blockchain for its own purposes.
Formerly considered to be a largely off-the-wall movement, Bitcoin has been making its rounds in the financial world as a legitimate asset in recent months. A report from Bloomberg says that Bitcoin has become a hot topic for wealth managers, who are being “inundated” with client requests to put money into the cryptocoin.
Cumberland Advisors’ David Kotok said that his clients start conversations about Bitcoin “…all the time. They think it’s cool. It has the newness, which is attractive to some people, though others would say newness is a risk they don’t want to take.”
Most financial institutions have indeed taken an ‘approach with caution’ attitude toward Bitcoin. French bank BNP Paribas recently said that an economy reliant on Bitcoin as a central (or at least more central) currency would be at risk because of the lack of a “lender of last resort” who could provide aid in case of a financial crisis.
However, European Central Bank Presiden Mario Draghi said on Monday that the currently limited nature of cryptocurrency means that crypto does not pose a threat to the ECB’s “hold on the money supply,” according to a Reuters report.
Among other things, the recent announcement that the CME will offer Bitcoin futures trading options before the end of the year contributed to the latest Bitcoin boom, which brought the cryptocurrency to a new all-time peak of over $8300. At the time of writing, a single Bitcoin was worth just under $8200.
Some analysts believe that a single Bitcoin could be worth $10,000 by the end of this year. In any case, the cryptocurrency is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore.